Growing Pains

Recently, our pastor taught on spiritual growth. He said that growth usually comes out of pain and tension.

This message reminded me that my husband and I should never be afraid to confront one another or discuss hard issues, because through these seasons, our marriage grows.

I’ve learned that there are seasons in life. Life has ups and downs and “in betweens”. It will all pass into the next season, some good and some bad. But some seasons are growing seasons and others are times to relax and be still enjoying the life God has given.

We experienced many growing pains during our first year of marriage. I remember God continually whispering to me, to just love him during times when I did not feel like loving my husband.

I had many unrealistic expectations for my husband and marriage that were not being met.

As the ordained spiritual leader of our family, my idea of a spiritual leader was an unrealistic image of a man I had made up in my head from all the good qualities I saw in pastors, youth leaders and my dad from my childhood.

This was not fair for my husband, and created some tension for us in the beginning of our marriage. It was a growth process for me to learn Isaac’s unique qualities as a spiritual leader and to not compare my husband to other men.

On our honeymoon, we both learned about the vow “in sickness and in health” pretty quickly. My husband lost part of his right index finger on our honeymoon and underwent two surgeries within the first two weeks of marriage. Additionally, I had been diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease, a chronic autoimmune illness, when we were engaged, which flared pretty heavily during that first year of marriage.

This was a painful, stressful and very difficult time in our marriage. There were many times I thought that marriage is not as romantic as I had envisioned. When was it going to feel blissful? I thought.

But God had a different plan for us. He wanted us to grow into bliss and love for each other during a time of pain and recovery. We got to know each other better and how to care for each other during times of physical ailment.

Sometimes in life God says, “Be still and know that I am God.”

To be in the Lord’s presence for a time seeking Him, listening to Him and enjoying His blessings are just as important as seasons of growth. It is in these content, peaceful times of life that I savor time with my husband and create happy memories to look back on when we are going through rough times of growth.

In my marriage right now, we have been in a content season of life. – a season of relaxing and enjoying life. We are financially stable, have great jobs, fairly happy with each other most of the time and all around just comfortable. Never perfect, but we are happy and comfortable.

I love comfort. I love eating the same thing for breakfast every morning and coming home every night to cuddle up on the couch with my husband and sweet, little dog.

At times, I have felt guilty for this season in life. But I believe it is okay to enjoy this time, because we have had some difficult seasons that helped us grow to where we are today.

It’s very tempting to stay in a comfort zone in our marriage for too long for fear of “rocking the boat” or “disturbing the peace.“

Fortunately for us, starting a family is right around the corner and boy, I know that will that be a time of growth.

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Rachel Bohanan is a newlywed living in Oklahoma City with her husband and six-pound morkie dog. Rachel is passionate about marriage and desires to help others have a great marriage with her. She loves putting words together to share her heart in a way that inspires others to be more like Jesus. While writing is her first love, Rachel works in communications for an oil and gas company and also just started an at-home invitation design business, Rachel Kathryn Designs.


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